Federal budget to deliver good news

Federal budget to deliver good news The Federal budget is creeping up on us even more quickly than usual this year. The Government has brought forward the budget to April 2 to make way for the Federal election, which will most likely be held in May. So it will be similar to what we saw in 2016 when the Government had a budget, then a short time later announced the Federal election. The outlook This …

Recession risks revealed

Recession risks revealed There’s been a lot of talk about a slowdown in Australia, including talk of a recession. That talk intensified this week after December quarter gross domestic product (GDP) figures showed growth remained very weak in the December quarter. The December quarter figures show GDP grew just 0.2 per cent and dragging annual growth in 2018 down to 2.3 per cent. Those numbers were below market expectations and below the Reserve Bank of …

Fussy buyers snub houses that don’t present well

Fussy buyers snub houses that don’t present well If presentation isn’t on point, many buyers keep looking, which is an important point to remember for those wanting to sell in the current market. When property prices boomed, buyers would look past the 1970s bathroom and the untidy garden, but with prices coming down, those looking to sell need to go the extra mile if they are to maximise the sale price. As prices move down …

Proposed changes to negative gearing and capital gains tax hit house prices

Proposed changes to negative gearing and capital gains tax hit house prices Australia’s house prices have fallen for 13 consecutive months, with average Australian capital city prices now down 4% from their peak. The once booming cities of Sydney and Melbourne have led the falls over the last year; while falls in Perth and Darwin, which started several years ago as the mining investment boom ended, have continued. Bucking the national trend, prices in Brisbane …

The impact of short-termism on markets

The impact of short-termism on markets Humans are hard-wired to focus on the short term. We all have a tendency to react to immediate risks as a result of the ‘fight or flight’ syndrome inherited by our ancestors thousands of years ago. Our human biases have been exacerbated in more recent times by the need to react more quickly to the data that is provided almost continuously by the barrage of daily ‘news’, the exponential …

How much is really needed in retirement?

How much is really needed in retirement? In the UK in 2014, The Independent Review of Retirement Income (IRRI) was commissioned to look at retirement incomes. Two recommendations from IRRI were: The use of deterministic projections of the returns on products should be banned. They should be replaced with stochastic projections that take into account important real-world issues, such as sequence-of-returns risk (and) inflation. Quite a bit to digest. There is a broader discussion of …

Boom turns to bust – falling Australian home prices.

Boom turns to bust – falling Australian home prices. How far and for how long and what’s the impact on the economy? Key points Property prices in Sydney and Melbourne are likely to see top to bottom falls of around 20% as credit conditions tighten, supply rises and a negative feedback loop from falling prices risks developing.   Other cities will perform better having not seen the boom of the last few years.   Property …

Get real: how we delude ourselves about investments

Get real: how we delude ourselves about investments In 1988, I bought $750 worth of special $5 coins, minted to commemorate the opening of Australia’s Parliament House. I figured it was a one-way bet to investment success. They were legal tender costing $5 and would always be worth at least $5, and if they became sought-after by collectors, the sky was the limit. I found the box of coins recently while cleaning the attic. They …

What two investing insights would you give your 20-year-old self?

What two investing insights would you give your 20-year-old self?   Hamish Douglass, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer, Magellan Asset Management My central advice would be that successful investing is about finding and then owning for the long-term companies that can generate excess returns for years to come. It’s not about looking for stocks that might come into short-term favour on stock markets. The worthwhile companies to own for the long term will …